You are embarking on quite an adventure using technology, however,
there is a ‘render unto Caesar, what is his’, ok, so
it doesn’t go quite like that. The point I am trying to get
across is that there are a cost associated with going to technology
above simply paying for the tablets. It is called preventive
maintaince. Unfortunately it appears that schools and school
districts have this bad habit of thinking once an item is purchased, it
should run, period. Not the case with technology, a rule of thumb
is at least 20% of the technology budget must be put into maintaining
the equipment this includes not only the tablets or laptops, but also
the internet connection. Without regular maintaince the your
system will not be reliable. Ever heard the phrase, “there
are two kinds of hard drives, those that have failed, and those that
will”? It’s just a matter of when.
Administrators, already know that you have to fight an uphill battle
with some of your staff about using technology in the classroom.
Most of those who resist will say because they know from past
experience it ‘doesn’t work’. You need to show
them (not just talk it) that it will be there and working. The
only way to make sure your technology system is reliable is to make
sure that the connections will:
It is your obligation to create the staff mindset to give their
students time to create and reflect while using technology. This
includes teacher learning as they travel down this road with the
students. Time needs to be established to allow grade teachers to
talk with each other on what works and what doesn’t. This
can only happen when the school’s atmosphere supports this trial.
Work when the teacher starts
Be fast enough to handle workload
By budgeting monies for the equipment you will reduce your non productive time. Let me give you a real life example:
My high school has a server room where most of our major equipment for
the school is housed. We developed a small leak in our roof, and
noted by our principal. Three days later, there was 3 inches of
water in the room and we watched water from the ceiling splash on top
of the equipment…..
Now I was surprised that the equipment survived at all, of course, the
company that runs the switches and equipment had to pull it out, check
it, replace the section, reinstall and reconfigure the network.
Lost time: ___ days because maintance was not considered a priority.
- Easing into Technology Administrator Playbook:
- Establish a grade team
- Each team determines what they need
- Teachers issued tablets/laptops, experiment with the tools such as:
- Teachers choose appropriate apps
- Student’s tablets/laptop have same apps installed.
- Lower grades- 1-6 directed to creating and more importantly expressing ideas, especially good for ESL students.
TEACHERS & STUDENTS
In the service, we were issued some basic items. Normally, we
called them ‘sets, kits and outfits’. Your students
are no different, there are certain applications (apps for short) they
should have on their tablets, laptops, or smart phones.
Student planner of some type – myHomework Student Planner is an example.
Wikispaces – for students and teachers.
Edmondo – classroom management
Dropbox, an easy to use cloud storage service
YouTube, this is a great resource for education, while most of the
videos have nothing to do with education, but some do.
Evernote. Like it says, this app will allow you to put notes down and keep them with you.
So let’s get started.
I think I need to tell you right up front, I am a believer in teams /
group concept. You will see it throughout this writing.
Research shows that students learn as much or more from each other as
they digest information. We, as educators need to take advantage
of that as technology changes so rapidly we need as much help as we can